Why the redesign?
London Fashion Week is one of the world’s most prolific designer showcases and takes place in February and September of each year, followed by London Fashion Week Men and London Fashion Week Festival. Although these hugely successful events are run by the British Fashion Council, they have never had unified branding to signify this. Earlier this year, the British Fashion Council commissioned Pentagram partners Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell to design an overarching campaign that could be used by all three events. The wordmark and primary typefaces of the branding stayed the same, so the redesign is an evolution of the previous, remaining familiar to consumers, but contemporary at the same time.
Unifying all three events
The events are designed to have a varying target markets; London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Men’s are both considered exclusive affairs which are primarily aimed at affluent industry professionals and aristocratic celebrities, whereas London Fashion Week Festival is designed to make the glamour of fashion week more obtainable to millennials, fashion consumers and aspiring trendsetters. The aim when designing an overarching identity was to widen audiences and encourage people to attend all three rather than just one. Therefore, when designing the campaign, Pentagram focused more on the idea of these events being siblings, rather than the three of them completely sharing one identity: Pentagram have aimed to retain the individuality of each event, whilst providing a coherent voice and giving the branding of each season’s three events ‘an identifiable thread to run through them’. The campaign branding will change with every season but will always remain consistent across the three events to signify they are connected and run by the same organisation.
The inspiration behind the SS18 designs
Each visual system is tailored to the season: The SS18 campaign branding was first seen at June’s London Fashion Week Men’s and was fully released at London Fashion Week and London Fashion Week Festival in September.
The idea behind the new designs is a manifestation of the physical creative process that fashion designers go through when creating their collections: ripping, weaving, and creating layered inspiration boards. In order to evoke this, the slash device has been applied to London Fashion Week’s signature bold, all-caps, sans-serif typography and imagery. Lead Designer at Noir Tina says “I like the thinking behind the reasons why they decided to use the ‘slash’ style – I think it relates very literally to the techniques of the fashion designers and cleverly encompasses the unity between the events that the British Fashion Council were primarily aiming to capture.
“Going forward, the minimalistic style of the bold and strong typography allows for different designs to be easily incorporated each season and used across all the 3 events whilst still allowing each event to hold it’s own individuality. I’d be excited to see how the logo could lend itself to a play between typography and photography.
“For me, the over-riding commodity is that the SS18 design has a strong statement impact across all design collateral, which is something I feel a lot of fashion students and designers aspire to do: make a statement.”
Showcasing the designs
The designs have been used across all of the three events’ communication channels, including social media, advertising screens and posters, festival signage, print collateral, uniforms and merchandise. In addition to this, Pentagram have designed bespoke invites, event passes and information guides where an emphasis is placed on the digital production.
The branding was also incorporated into the events, where Pentagram introduced a series of digital touchpoints; these were curated in a way that encouraged visitor interaction with the event space, in the form of selfies and social posts. In addition to this, the new design’s motion behaviour of ripping and tearing was brought to life on touchscreens and banners that dominated the event space. Noir’s Brand Strategist, Alice says “I really enjoy how they’ve rolled the concept out across all the collateral and in the physical spaces, it’s energetic and bold. It’s success is in its simplicity, but I like how they have also abstracted shapes to create a new visual language.”
The campaign project took roughly five months to complete, and the team is currently working on the concept for the next season of the show, due to launch in January, they have been commissioned to work on the London Fashion Week campaign branding for the next two years.